Value Of Virginity

Fake virgins. A growing number of Chinese women … are opting for a surgical procedure called “hymen restoration,” which returns the hymen to its condition before it was ruptured. … Many men, including white-collar professionals, say they want to marry a virgin. And increasingly liberated Chinese women have found a way to oblige them. …

Zhou, 44, said most of her patients are sexually active young women who are about to marry and have told their future husbands they are virgins. … For as little as … about $737, for a 20-to-30-minute procedure. … “It’s just a white lie,” Zhou said. And she blames men for having unrealistic expectations. … “It’s really worthless for couples to break up over this small issue,” said the woman, who asked not to be quoted by name. …

Some sociologists and others have criticized the virginity obsession as emblematic of a male-dominated society in which women are viewed as sex objects. … “Women demand men have houses and cars, why can’t men demand women be virgins?” asked one man. (more)

It seems to me many men really do have a strong preference for virginity, and are willing to pay a high price for it in a marriage bargain. This male preference for virgins seems as legitimate as the female preference for high status husbands. So it can do husbands a great harm to deceive them about virginity.

Imagine a woman married a man in part because of his great job and income, and as soon as she has his first kid he reveals that it was a fake; his parents had paid for a temporary high-status job and big house/car/etc. so she could give them a high quality grandkid. Now that the kid has arrived, husband goes back to being a janitor with a bike and one-room apartment. What if the man said, “It’s really worthless for couples to break up over this small issue.”

Added 10p: Wow, I go away for ten hours and 50 comments appear.  I didn’t claim male status is exactly like female virginity in all its effects, nor did I claim such preferences are independent of culture. The relevant issues seem to me to be the strength of preference, which it seems to be are often similar, and whether a preference is for some exceptional reason illegitimate. I accept most preferences as legitimate, and haven’t heard a good reason why male preference for virgins is illegitimate. Surely the fact that a preference is influenced by culture is not a reason by itself to consider that preference illegitimate.

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